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Coffee & fynbos | A perfect Klein Karoo pairing

A Klein Karoo fynbos experience, plus a vibrant coffee shop culture - showcasing local artisan coffee brands and a slow living mindset - are on offer in the charming Route 62 town of Montagu.

Fynbos and coffee | The perfect Klein Karoo pairing

The Klein Karoo - alongside its iconic 850km Route 62 - is known for its viticulture and historical wine farms. The display of rolling rows of vines, bordered by magenta bougainvillaea, crimson cannas or iceberg roses, make it worth a road trip. And let’s not forget the silvery-green shimmer of olive groves and the prolific orchards, bursting with apricots, pears, apples, pomegranates, quinces and figs. 

But that’s not all on offer; a vibrant coffee shop culture - to match that of Cape Town and Jozi - beckons weary travellers and slow-living locals to sit awhile and ponder the beauty of the Klein Karoo with its rugged and soaring mountain backdrops and rustic but delicate - and seemingly random - show of indigenous fynbos. 

“There are large, tree-like bushes, tufts of reeds and a thick blanket of bushes at knee-height.” -The Fynbos Guy.

Fynbos in the Klein Karoo

Mandatory for any traveller to these parts is a wander along the trails or a slow drive along Route 62 where a symphony of fynbos species - in 50 shades of green - boasts an artist’s array of dainty yellow, white, pink and blue flowers. Take the opportunity to inhale the fragrance and experience the diverse beauty of our protected Western Cape fynbos species. (Their essence and magnificence cannot be captured in photos, but you will still want to try). 

A local lass and ‘fynbos alchemist’ - Liana Jansen at Kogman and Keisie guest farm - has spent the last 10 years creating Fijn Botanicals; an organic range of skincare products, perfumes, candles and scented mists developed from essential oils blends  extracted from fynbos. Pay her a visit and take a ‘fynbos memento’ home with you.  

Fijn Botanicals Montagu Western Cape

Undoubtedly, wine tastings at one or more of the many wineries will be on your agenda, but supporting the local coffee shops and roasters is as much a delight for conversations, photo ops, and an opportunity to appreciate the unique way of life and idiosyncrasies of these Klein Karoo towns and dorpies.

One of these little towns is Montagu; a not-to be missed stop along Route 62 (and where we call home), which spoils us with its smattering of charming coffee shops and friendly baristas. 

So, besides the invites to rock climbing adventures, wine tastings, mountain biking tracks, hiking trails and art meanders, you should set aside some time to try out the coffee shops; each one showcasing a local artisanal coffee brew. 

Besides the coffee and ‘supporting local,’ I’m all about the personal stories and vision behind a brand. Here are a few brew favourites (in no particular order):

Terbodore Coffee @ The Barn on 62

On entering Montagu from Barrydale’s side, you will get a ‘Welcome’ sign. Shortly after, you will be met by The Barn on 62. (We are assuming you took the time to first stop off in Barrydale for a milkshake at Diesel and Creme, to pop in at the Karoo Art hotel - check out the Ladies bathroom - or to order breakfast at Karoo Daisy).   

The Barn on 62 coffee shop in Montagu

The Barn on 62 is ever popular with tourists and locals alike. It definitely has something to do with the coffee and the menu, but it also has a lot to do with the friendliest and most professional of waitrons and front-of-house manager, Dominique. No matter where you are from, it’s impossible to not feel like you belong. 

Their coffee brand of choice is Terbodore Coffee - with its recognisable Great Dane logo. 

 Terbodore coffee at the Barn on 62, Montagu

Terbodore coffee originated on a farm with a restaurant and roastery near Curry’s Post in the Kwazulu Natal Midlands in 2004. The name comes from the name of the farm the owner grew up on which is a combination of 3 family names: her father’s name, ‘Tertie,’ her oupa, ‘Oupa Boy’ and her aunt, Dorita.’ With a roastery in the Natal Midlands and a more recent one Franschhoek in the Western Cape, their philosophy is: “People don’t want to drink bad coffee anymore.”

The Barn on 62 is open Tuesday - Saturday from 08h30 - 16h00 and Sundays from 09h000-14h00.

18 Coffee @ The Pastry Place

A much more recent coffee shop launch is the Pastry Place artisan bakery at the newly renovated KWV lifestyle building on Long Street. This is where you get to experience a French Patisserie offering without having to travel to Paris. Pastry Chef and Chocolatier, Alfred Henry - alongside his wife and business partner, Mandy - is certainly popular with those with a sweet tooth. And on our hot Klein Karoo summer days, their creamy gelato flavours are just what the doctor ordered. 

The Pastry Place @ KWV lIfestyle quarter in Montage, Western Cape

The Pastry Place’s coffee brand of choice is 18 Coffee, based in Stellenbosch. Of course, as the brand owners anticipated, the obvious question would be: “Why 18 coffee?” 

The answer is simple. When you have 3 retired Blitzbokke Sevens rugby players - Kyle Brown, Philip Snyman and Cecil Africa - teaming up to start an artisanal coffee brand, it’s obvious that they would add up the numbers on their rugby jerseys. That is how 18 Coffee was born. (It’s really a nice story!).

The Pastry Place is open Tuesday - Friday from 09h00 - 16h00, Saturdays from 09h00 - 14h00 and public holidays from 09h00 - 13h00.

Origin Coffee @ Rambling Rose

You are unlikely to visit Montagu and not pop in for breakfast, brunch, lunch or coffee and cake at Rambling Rose Country Kitchen and Deli, the dream of Sergio and Kay. If you are a regular, Sergio will remember your name and your favourite orders. His bakery section overflows with croissants, meringues, cakes, sausage rolls, muffins and apple danish pastries. And then there's the deli; jam packed full of homemade jams and chutneys. Need a gift? You won’t be disappointed with the choices on offer. 

Rambling Rose coffee Shop & Deli in Montagu on Route 62

Rambling Rose’s coffee brand of choice is Origin coffee. With their Headquarters in De Waterkant, Cape Town - and wanting to  offer South Africans exceptional, quality roasted coffee from around the world - Joel Singer started Origin Artisan Coffee Roasters in 2006. His dream? To create a hub of coffee excellence that would service the whole of Africa

Rambling Rose is open Wednesday - Monday from 08h00 - 17h00. 

Truth Coffee @ Blu Vines District

Blu Vines District - at the opposite end of Long street as you head out towards Cogmanskloof - not only has the setting sorted but has also taken their interior decor to the next level with a playfully eclectic yet sophisticated boutique aesthetic. 

A waterfall wall in the bathroom? Check. Gorgeous oversized crystal chandeliers in the dining room and Mimosa wine tasting room? Check. A fine dining menu and fire kitchen? Check. A Harley Davidson showroom? Check. (Book a Harley tour here. What beter way to experience our fynbos) 😉

Blu Vines District coffee shop and restaurant in Montagu

Blu Vines coffee of choice is Truth coffee. Based in Cape Town with their avant garde steampunk attitude, Truth coffee’s masterful blends are all about tasting the extraordinary. Branding themselves the world’s most luxurious coffee (The Daily Telegraph seems to agree), it is only fitting that Blu Vines would move towards this artisanal coffee roaster. 

Café Blu(es) is open Wednesday to Sunday from 09h00 - 17h00. Blu Vines Fire Kitchen is open Wednesday to Sunday from 18h00 - 22h00.  

Bootlegger Coffee @ The Montagu Country Hotel

The Montagu Country Hotel - in all its Art Deco glory - dates back to 1875 and is synonymous with Klein Karoo hospitality. Over the past 25 years, PJ and Colene Basson have lovingly restored and refurbished this beacon in the heart of Montagu. Gastronomic country fare - with a twist -  is on offer at the Charleston restaurant, and for coffee and light meals, Feathers & Flatcaps is where you can sit a while. 

Montagu Country Hotel on Route 62

Their coffee of choice is Bootlegger coffee. Also the artisanal coffee brainchild of 3 friends - Pieter Bloem, De Waal Basson & Antonie Basson - Bootlegger Coffee Company was created in 2012. After a few whiskeys, they decided on the name, ‘Bootlegger’ for its “masculine, slightly mischievous, community-centric, but also rule-breaking connotations.” The roastery in Ndabeni, Cape Town, is where the coffee blend magic happens. 

Feathers & Flatcaps is open daily from early till late. 

If you are planning a roadtrip, you are welcome to stop en route and experience our fynbos and coffee shops. The locals will greet you, the baristas will welcome you, and you will hopefully leave captivated by Montagu’s Klein Karoo beauty and spirit. 


Cape Town Travel Blog

If your road trip is taking you to Cape Town, then make sure to check out my travel blog on 12 things to do when in the Mother City for a few days.

There's a reason why scenic Route 62 is a popular road trip journey. Meandering through Klein Karoo 'dorpies' and small towns, vineyards, olive groves and fruit orchards, it is unlikely to disappoint. From my experience, it is a much needed lesson in slow living.


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